Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): shielding support and contacts

Details of shielding support for vulnerable people to arrange for food and medicine deliveries, and other support services.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): shielding support and contacts

Overview of 'shielding' 

Shielding is a measure to protect people who are clinically at high risk from the coronavirus, by supporting them to self-isolate to minimise all interaction with others.

Those identified should:

  • not leave their homes
  • minimise all non-essential contact with other members of their household

This is to protect those who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) from coming into contact with the virus.

Shielding is for your personal protection. While it is your choice to decide whether to follow these measures, the Chief Medical Officer strongly urges you to do so. This is the same approach agreed across the four UK nations.

Contact your local authority if you need support with shielding.

Adults who are eligible for an annual flu vaccine for medical reasons, will not all be proactively contacted but are asked to take additional steps to reduce their social interactions by following social distancing measures in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus. 

Regardless of whether you are the person at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 you can help protect people who are at risk by staying at home.


A helpline can help provide essential assistance to those who don’t have a network of support, or who are at increased risk if they contract Coronavirus (COVID-19).

This service is in addition to local support already available for people who have received letters advising them to shield.

If you are not yet receiving assistance, you can access support via 0800 111 4000. 

Find out more: Coronavirus (COVID-19): help for people who need additional support